Capacity building of staff in their response to students of concern.

Ms Belinda Gibson1
1Victoria University, Altona North, Australia


The poster/presentation offers a multi-modal approach to improving awareness and education of campus staff and their management when responding to students of concern at Victoria University. The approach was developed to address observations of general staff difficulty in responding to student behaviour when risk was identified, including low awareness of the University support services (Student Counselling), becoming over-involved in student issues, or working outside of their role (boundaries). A suite of resources accessible in various formats (written tools and practical workshops) were developed and implemented across the University as a means of capacity building. The resources were focused on being highly practical, easy to use and specific to the University. To achieve these aims, key elements of the resources included scripts on what to say and how to respond in certain situations, links to relevant University policies, and referral information. Whilst promotion of the resources was a challenge, they were extremely well received by staff of various levels across the University hierarchy, leading to higher awareness of student support services, increased demand for staff workshops and improved referrals.


Belinda is a qualified Psychologist with over ten years experience. She has worked in a variety of settings including within the forensic field, community and private sector and tertiary education.  She currently manages the Counselling and Accessibility Services at Victoria University.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education. We are focused on: The quality of the student experience Supporting and empowering students to achieve their educational and life goals Enhancing student wellbeing and development Improving student success and persistence Providing outreach to students at-risk Raising institutional student retention rates For more information, please visit the ANZSSA website at